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If the Germans had captured Moscow, what do you think would have happened?


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#1 C.Evans

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 02:57 AM

Whats your opinions on, if the Germans had captured Moscow. Do you think it would have really changed anything? I suppose there was a slim chance but, I doubt it. There were too many Russian armies in and around that sacred city. Most likely, it would have been a battle of attrition, just like Stalingrad.

#2 Sgt. Schultz

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 03:14 AM

HI.C: You know, thats just what I was thinking. I think the battle would be as bad, if not evev worse than stalingrad.

#3 PzJgr

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 04:00 AM

If the Germans had captured Moscow before the onset of Winter as originally planned, it would not have changed a thing since Stalin would have unleased the same winter offensive them. If the Germans had taken Moscow after defeating the Russian offensive, It would not have changed anything other than prolonging the war and maybe preventing the Russians from getting the advantages of Lend Lease when they did. The question would then be, would the Russians have proceeded with their attempts to seek a peace offering from Hitler as it is now known they were ready to do or would they have stuck it out?

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#4 Killjoy

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 04:42 AM

Although it has been said that the fall of moscow would have had little or no impact on the Russian war effort, I believe the psychological effect might have been the "little extra" needed to make Uncle Io sue for peace...
Iosef was allegedly already wailing into his vodka flask about having "ruined all that Lenin had achieved..." (paraphrase, almost certainly) and considering throwing in the towel.
If Moscow had fallen, I believe it would have been: Round One to Germany, and this defeat used to rally the Russian people for a sort of "Patriotic Crusade" to free the captured territories of the Rodina in perhaps a year or so...

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#5 C.Evans

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Posted 03 January 2001 - 08:29 PM

Thank you for your opinions. I agree, I do not think anything would really change, except casualty figures, and possibly slightly prolong the war.

#6 J.Mahoney

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 02:34 AM

I think the germans would have completly trashed moscow, which would have pissed off the russians that much more.

#7 C.Evans

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Posted 04 January 2001 - 03:07 AM

I just wonder how things would have been, if the Germans had captured, and held Moscow. I feel that the Russians would lose a million troops trying to retake Moscow, that could be used elsewhere. Maybe someone like Zaitsev, would have used his rifle on Stalin.

#8 Wittmann

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Posted 25 May 2001 - 01:12 PM

It would have changed as much as it did for Napoleon

#9 De Vlaamse Leeuw

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 10:18 AM

If Army group Center took Moscow in december 1941, Russia would lose the war.

Stalin would have fled of killed himself if he knew that the Germans were trying to capture him.

In the beginning of 1942 Russians would try to liberate Moscow, but they would fail. They would face a few panzerdivisions, 10 infantrydivisions, the Luftwaffe, (Waffen)SS-troops.

Then conquest of Leningrad and Stalingrad would be more easy, because the armies in the south and the north would have been used to conquer Moscow.
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#10 Stevin

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 10:41 AM

No way, Stalin would have flown out of Moscow to somewhere behind the ural and continue the fight from there. Most industry was already relocated behind the ural and it would have been just a matter of time before a great Russian offensive would have re-taken Moscow.

Hitler had nowehere to run and killed himself. Stalin had almost a whole continent to 'hide'...
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#11 Sniper

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 12:43 PM

I agree with Stevin. Stalin would have moved out of Moscow (maybe at the last minute) and would have set up base in the Urals.

Then he would have committed everyone he could lay his hands on to regain Moscow. He probably would have risked moving some of the Divisions he had in the East facing Japan.

It would have been a great cause for the Motherland and he would not have worried about casualty figures, only the end result.

It may have prolonged the war another year but eventually the result would have been the same.

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#12 PzJgr

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 02:04 PM

I also agree with Steven. Losing Moscow did not necessarily mean losing the war. Though Moscow was the communication center for the Soviet Union, it would have been the focus for the Russian counteroffensive. Stalin would have left Moscow with the intent to retake it.
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#13 CrazyD

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 02:35 PM

Yup, I'd say you gents are right on the money. I think Sniper put it best- it would have probably prolonged the war for a year (at the most!), but the end result would have been the same. The russians probably would have lost staggering amounts of troops in re-taking moscow, since this early in the war they were still reeling from Stalin's officer purges and their tactics were sub-par. But the manpower reserves available could sustain that.
As far as the fighting goes, I'd also agree that the fighting for moscow would make stalingrad look easy...
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#14 Stevin

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 03:14 PM

I have to correct myself on one point though; Stalin wouldn't have flown out. According to Beevor a command train was prepared for his "escape". All geared up and ready to go, but never used by Stalin.
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#15 Friedrich

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Posted 07 September 2002 - 03:41 AM

Have to agree with Stevin. Stalin would have held and stayed in Moscow and comitted suicide as well as in Berlin four years later... And the capture of Moscow, the fall of the comunist regime meant the partial collapse of the Soviet Union, because then all the front would have collapsed for the Russians and stabilised for the Germans. And even with the huge industry and resources behind the Urals, without their capital and their government they were not very strong and would have asked for an armistice for sure...
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#16 dasreich

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Posted 07 September 2002 - 06:29 AM

In Napoleons time, Moscow wasnt as important as it was in ww2. It was more or less just the capital. Not so in the second world war. The rail network, the spirit of the Soviet Union, and the sole man moving the war effort(Stalin) all lay in Moscow. A German victory MAY not have meant total victory, but it would be the icing on the Russian cake, and would have forced the crumbling union to accept humiliating peace terms.

Essentially, I agree with Friedrich. ;)
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#17 Friedrich

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Posted 07 September 2002 - 08:23 PM

Fibally somebody sees the truth!!! :rolleyes:
"War is less costly than servitude, the choice is always between Verdun and Dachau." - Jean Dutourd, French veteran of both world wars

"A mon fils: depuis que tes yeux sont fermes les miens n’ont cessé de pleurir." - Mère française, Verdun

#18 Avatar47

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

Thread needs reviving :) Besides, it wasn't really discussed much (1 page??)

Serious historians don't speculate much on what might have happened if Moscow fell, at least from the books I've read. However, some seem to indicate that the fall of Moscow would have led to serious, no, massive transportation/logistic issues for the fronts north and south of Moscow. Had it fallen in September 41, as Guderian was arguing for, then a stablised German front some 50-100km east of Moscow would most likely have blunted any offensive that the Russians were still capable of. People speak alot about "Well then those 650,000 Russians near Kiev would have escaped". Well, that immobile mass of troops would have done close to nothing even had they not been encircled. They were only useful for defensive operations, and it could hardly be expected for STAVKA to move that mass EAST of Moscow in time for an effective winter attack aimed at liberating Moscow. German success at taking Moscow would have, in addition, been a signal to the Japanese to start their Far Eastern campaign in Siberia, which as we know, the Russians stripped of most divisions.

IMO, Moscow being lost would have meant the effective collapse of the Soviet Union, and a new power struggle commencing in the remaining lands to the east. The Battle of Moscow was truly among, if not the, most decisive battle of the war.

#19 Za Rodinu

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:41 PM

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#20 tikilal

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:59 PM

Nice to see the horse again.

If Moscow had fallen would Hitler have actually tuned the city into a lake?
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#21 Ironcross

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:11 PM

Stalin in 1941 was in a much better position than Hitler was in 1945. He had an armored train waiting for him in case anything went wrong, which means he was willing to leave Moscow. I am 100% sure that Stalin and the communist party would fight on even if Moscow had been taken. Look at what happened in 1905(after the Russo-Japanese war) and in 1917(During WWI). Stalin knew it was the defeats of the Russian army that caused those revolutions, he was not stupid enough to follow the path of Nicholas II. Peace treaty was completely out of the damn question. The Russian people were sick and tired of being beaten all the time, they were not going to go through that crap again.
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#22 alephh

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:54 PM

Considering that administration was already evacuated, communications were evacuated, embassies were evacuated, part of the production was evacuated, etc, etc, etc ... it's difficult to see how the capturing of Moscow could have changed anything.

The only thing not evacuated was the nailed down railway network.

And remembering that losing/encircling of Minsk, Kiew, Leningrad, Kharkov, Sevastopol, Rostov, Smolenks (almost all the major cities in the Soviet Union) didn't affect the morale since communist controlled the information and how the information was presented to people - I don't think that losing Moscow could have ruined the morale or caused any trouble to Stalin.


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#23 von Rundstedt

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:36 AM

Moscow to my understanding was the Communications, Ecconomic, Political, Military, Spiritual hub of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Government was so centralized that Moscow was the be all and end all of the Nation, Yes the Soviet Union could survive the losses of Stalingrad and Leningrad as they were not the be all and end all of the Soviet Union, Moscow was, no other city east of the River Volga had the capacity to replace Moscow, if there is please let me know.

With confusion of the loss of Moscow a cancer would set in, the Soviet Red Army would disintigrate, it would take years for the Soviet Red Army to stabilized, some here have the misconception that relocating a centralized regime like the Soviet Regime would be easy and not affect the entire course of events. Stalin having fled to the Eastern Urals would lose face, how many Generals would stay loyal, after his purges i would say very few, Stalin in my opinion would lose the support of the Military as revenge for those purges.

Another issue of this, would the fall of Moscow and the Axis occupying the entire A-A Line precipitate the break up of the Soviet Union, would the likes of Georgia, Azerbaijan and others decide to throw of communism and embrace independence. Also what about the Soviet Troops themselves, imagine them on the battlefield told to "not take one step back" whent their leader has bolted to the other side of the Ural Mountains, i would see wholesale desertion.

And to finish off i would see the capture of Moscow and the disintigration of the Soviet structure as a catalyst for Japan to launch a major offensive in the East. It is all to easy to fob off the loss of Moscow as inconsequentual, but it would prove catastophic. The Soviet Union would be forced to surrender within twelve months

#24 Sloniksp

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:03 AM

Yes the Soviet Union could survive the losses of Stalingrad and Leningrad as they were not the be all and end all of the Soviet Union, Moscow was, no other city east of the River Volga had the capacity to replace Moscow, if there is please let me know.


This is incorrect.

With confusion of the loss of Moscow a cancer would set in, the Soviet Red Army would disintigrate, it would take years for the Soviet Red Army to stabilized, some here have the misconception that relocating a centralized regime like the Soviet Regime would be easy and not affect the entire course of events. Stalin having fled to the Eastern Urals would lose face, how many Generals would stay loyal, after his purges i would say very few, Stalin in my opinion would lose the support of the Military as revenge for those purges.


Evidence would contradict this.

Try this. ;)

Most of the Soviet Staff actually expected Moscow to fall. As a result Kubyshev was designated as the temporary capital in case the city fell. It was about 600 miles or so to the east and pretty much all of the Soviet Staff and Stavka were there, including Molotov and even Lenin. It was a huge industrial town with a large population.

A skeleton force remained in Moscow along with an armored train to escort Stalin and the Generals to safety in case all failed.

Moscow itself was booby trapped. 1200 buildings including the Kremilin Govt. Buildings and even the Bolshoi Theatre were rigged with explosives as these were the first buildings which would have surely been visited by the German High Command.

Partisan groups were already set up to continue the fight and were even given special assignments after the city fell.

The biggest problem that the Germans might have very well faced was getting out of the city if ever captured. Germany would have lost a tremendous amount of men and reinforcements would have been minimal if any.

Example: In the first 6 months on the Eastern Front, Germany suffered 1 million casualties but only received 200 thousand replacements. At the same time the Red Army ( while suffering casualties ) actually grew in size by 2 million. ;)

As for the argument about the 650K Russian troops escaping but unable to do anything for the lack of transportation.... The Germans too would suffer this. Except now they would sustain huge losses, have even longer supply lines and on top of that would be facing a force on which is now larger then they actually encounterd and on their flank.
The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and racial differences and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. -Adolf Hitler


#25 von Rundstedt

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 03:29 AM

Thanks Slon for the naming of Kubyshev as a secondary capital.

But surely having been told not to take one step back by Stalin and then Stalin himself cuts and runs to Kubyshev, could you imagine what morale effect that would have on the ordinary footslogger, what would the effect of this on those who despised Stalin. But you have to at least admit the capture of Moscow would be a set back for the Soviets.

On the Armoured Train, i would hate for Stalin to leave it to the last minute only to have the train attacked. Also if Moscow is essentially rigged to be wiped off the map so to speak, what about the civilian population, i can say they exactly won't be danciing in the streets if there are any to dance in to praise Stalin.

I would say that the Germans would not stop at Moscow, they would push forward until they captured the entire A-A line, plus one aspect of this if the German did indeed captured the A-A Line surely they would eventually capture the entire Caucasus, then push into Iran (Persia) and then come up the other side of the Caspian Sea capturing more oilfields, once Persia has being captured there goes any link for lend lease.




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